Historical Methods and Approaches
This module provides training in advanced historical research. It is designed to introduce students to methods of historical investigation, writing, and presentation, and to important historical resources (including archives, collections of sources, and museums). Attention will be given to the use of IT in historical work work as well as more traditional paper-based methods.
Students produce a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a historical topic, chosen in conjunction with their supervisor. This represents the culmination of the History MAs, and constitutes Part Two of the programme.
New Departures in the Writing of History
This module provides an introduction to advanced historiography. It is designed to develop students’ awareness of traditional historiographical concerns alongside their knowledge current trends and new directions in writing and thinking about the past.
This module is designed to help students to identify a dissertation topic appropriate to their interests and expertise, and to tackle the problems of methodology, develop the research techniques, and undertake the project planning which are the necessary preliminaries to researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation.
From Princely Possessions to Public Museums: A History of Collecting and Display
The public museums, libraries and galleries of the modern era first emerged from the princely and scholarly collections of the early modern period. Students taking this module will look at the various motivations for collecting from the late middle ages onwards, examine the different types of collection that resulted, and consider how those collections that have survived became accessible to the public. Particular emphasis will be placed on the role of display in the culture of collecting. Throughout their history collections have been displayed, but the reasons for doing so, and the size and nature of the audience to whom they have been shown, have varied over time and according to setting. The module will therefore provide an opportunity to consider what lessons and values have been and are being conveyed by collections, from princely Kunstkammern of the sixteenth century to national and local museums of the twenty-first century.
Directed Reading in History
Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and historiography relating to a topic in History which they choose from a wide range of options.
Europe 1500-1650: Renaissance, Reformation and Religious War
This course examines the turbulent period in the history of Europe (including Britain), which encompassed the spread of Renaissance artistic and literary values beyond the Italian peninsula, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, and conflicts such as the French Wars of Religion, the Dutch Revolt, and the Thirty Years’ War. The module will explore not only the political significance of these events, and their effects on the ruling classes, but also their implications for wider European society and culture. Particular attention will be paid to using the knowledge acquired to understand written and visual sources produced in the period.
From Athens to Los Alamos: Science in the Ancient & Modern Worlds
While developments in science and scientific medicine have played a key part in the shaping the modern world, the contrast between twenty-first century knowledge and the knowledge of our ancestors can make it easy to overlook continuities in the study of nature over the centuries. So too can the image of science as, in some sense, an apolitical enterprise divorced from its social and cultural settings. This module will take a long view of the development of western science, beginning in the ancient world and ending in the twentieth century. It will study scientific institutions, theories, and methods, and demonstrate how these - along with the reasons for studying nature - have changed over time and have both shaped and been shaped by society and culture. As part of the attempt to understand the significance of the changing scientific enterprise to the history of western civilization, it will address the question of what constitutes science and consider debates about when it came into being.
The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.
From Natural Philosophy to Science
While developments in science and scientific medicine have played a key part in the shaping the modern world, the contrast between twenty-first century knowledge and the knowledge of our ancestors can make it easy to overlook continuities in the study of nature over the centuries. So too can the image of science as, in some sense, an apolitical enterprise divorced from its social and cultural settings. This module will consider the development of the scientific enterprise from the fifteenth century to the twentieth and, by studying the evolution of scientific institutions, theories, and methods show how these – as well as the reasons for studying nature – have changed over time and have both shaped and been shaped by society and culture. As part of the attempt to understand the significance of the changing scientific enterprise to the history of the modern world, it well address the question of what constitutes ‘modern science’ and consider debates about when it came into being.